Belonging to a community of individuals working toward a similar goal as yourself can be extremely beneficial in business. Finding that community can sometimes feel a little difficult, but It doesn’t have to be! In this post we’ll let you in on a few of our tips on networking for beginners.
Networking with other business owners can be a game changer when it comes to running a business, especially if you’re starting out on your own.
So where do we find a community? Where do we find “our people”? Here are a few ideas of different places you can look and ideas on finding a community or even creating a community of your own.
Start on Social Media
The first place that I would look to begin the process of business networking is social media (of course!). Facebook has thousands upon thousands of Facebook groups. Just by doing a quick search today, I found Mom Blog groups, work from home support groups, start-up groups, social media influencer groups, really anything you can think of. If you are selling on Etsy, they offer an Etsy community for their sellers as well. It’s a great place to bounce ideas off of people, to hear what others are struggling with, and learn from the best in your industry.
Need help with social media? Check out this post where we take it Back to the Basics of Social Media for you!
Find an Event
Another place we’ve often found success in networking is through live events or conferences. Etsy conferences, blogging conferences, social media conferences, YouTube conferences, there are so many opportunities for you to go and meet these like minded individuals in person.
It’s typically a little more difficult to find, and I know the last year or so has not made this as much of a possibility. However, if you look for these in person events and opportunities, you can usually find them.
These in person networking events can create relationships that will be extremely beneficial. There is something so effective about getting away and focusing on your business with others who are doing the same. If you haven’t, I would highly recommend finding a retreat, or conference, or somewhere that you can go to invest that time into your business.
Courses and Educational Meet-Ups or Groups
The last place we want to mention today where you might find a tribe or networking opportunities will be through educational resources.
For example, purchasing a course or program through a business coach or someone online, typically includes some type of group aspect. Jenna Kutcher offers a few different courses that also come with access to a private Facebook group where people who have also purchased those products can talk and communicate with one another. Her groups include those working to grow their Pinterest, Facebook, or Podcasts.
Our friend Michelle Gifford offers something similar to this, she runs an amazing program called the Money Makers, a group where you are able to receive advice and coaching, as well as communication through Marco Polo with other women business owners. It’s a great resource!
Create Your Own Community
If you’ve looked in all of these places and still can’t seem to find a community or you feel like maybe your niche isn’t represented quite like you want it to be, CREATE YOUR OWN! I promise you there are others like you looking for a tribe. In the beginning, you might have to be the one to get the group together. Invite a few social media friends out to dinner to chat business, even if it’s just 2-3 of you.
Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and start something. You never know how much it could help someone else, or how much having that community could help YOU! You don’t have to be the smartest or have the biggest company or following, you just need to be willing to share and help others.
The secret to making networking effective is to remember that this type of relationship takes work on your part too.
If you truly want to feel like you are part of a community, it’s going to take some effort. Be the one who answers questions, who offers advice or sends people to resources you know of. Be helpful! You don’t know what kind of relationships you could be forming in groups like this.
Networking and having a tribe of individuals within your same niche, is going to be something you will be so grateful for. These are the kind of people you are going to want to collaborate with, to work with, and to partner with in the future.
Need a place to start? Come introduce yourself over on our Instagram account @StartUpSparkCo and get chatting with other small business owners like yourself!